The Radicalism of "Conservatives"
Revolutions do not stand still. They either move forward or die. We are at the dawn of a glorious, delicate, revolutionary moment in the Middle East. It was triggered by the invasion of Iraq, the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and televised images of 8 million Iraqis voting in a free election...
Revolution is in the air. What to do? We are already hearing voices for restraint about liberating Lebanon. Flynt Leverett, your usual Middle East expert, took to the New York Times to oppose the immediate end of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. Instead, we should be trying to "engage and empower" the tyranny in Damascus.
These people never learn. Here we are on the threshold of what Arabs in the region are calling the fall of their own Berlin Wall and our "realists" want us to go back to making deals with dictators. It would be not just a blunder but a tragedy. It would betray our principles. And it would betray the people in Lebanon who have been encouraged by those principles...
This is no time to listen to the voices of tremulousness, indecision, compromise and fear. If we had listened to them two years ago, we would still be doing oil for food, no-fly zones and worthless embargoes. It is our principles that brought us to this moment by way of Afghanistan and Iraq. They need to guide us now -- through Beirut to Damascus.
What Krauthammer wants is chaos, and that was the inevitable result of our Mesopotamian adventure. A pre-war State Department analysis predicted that chaotic conditions would accompany an American occupation. Likewise, the CIA warned the administration that guerilla tactics could ultimately frustrate reconstruction efforts.
Such warnings were ignored by the cakewalk crowd. Dick Cheney said, "My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." Deputy Defense Secretary, and Likudnik ideologue, Paul Wolfowitz said, "I think there's every reason to think that huge numbers of the Iraqi population are going to welcome these people ... provided we don't overstay our welcome, provided we mean what we say about handing things back over to the Iraqis."
In an interesting article, Steven Sniegoski argues that chaos was the hoped for result of invasion, in that chaos benefits just one power in the Middle East. When you hear Krauthammer and his likeminded compatriots cheer on disorder, bedlam, and revolution in Syria, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, you have to ask yourself if they would also welcome such chaos in the West Bank.